First Brew Day of 2017

The snow has stopped falling here in Michigan so it is time to brew some beer. Most of the time I do not brew in winter as I have enough beer in kegs and all the outside hoses are put away so I can't run water to my therminator. Yes, I could use the snow to cool down the wort, but if I don't have to brew in the winter I won’t.

The first brew day of 2017 was a Pecan Brown Ale. I found the recipe in BYO magazine and it's from The Mitten Brewing Co. The name of the beer is called Label Up. Looking at the recipe I didn't think it was that hard and you put pecans in the mash, something I have never done before so I thought this would be a good one to start with. I also have been looking for a good brown ale recipe so I was thinking I couldn’t go wrong with this one.

Over the winter I did get some new home brewing toys. I picked up a pump and blichmann therminator. When I got the new toys I wanted to lay everything out to make sure I had all the parts for the first brew in 2017. I did lay everything out and found out that I needed some parts to make the new toys work with my system. Well, I never did get around to ordering them, so on brew day, I knew I would have to play it by ear as I couldn't run my setup as I wanted.

I use BeerSmith for my recipes. I input the recipe, played with some settings, and I was set. The new pump and therminator I ordered made me not as sure if I needed to add more water and or more grains to this batch so I just went with what BeerSmith had.

Brew Day is Here

Here is the recipe I used. This is for a 5.5 gal batch.

2-Row 75%

Munich Malt 10%

Brown Malt 5%

60L 5%

Chocolate Malt 2.5%

Roasted Barley 2.5%

Pecans 6 oz in mash (roasted)


Magnum .5 oz at 60 mins

Fuggle .5 oz at 15 mins

Fuggle .5 oz end of boil

WLP001 Yeast

I did have some issues on brew day. My mash temp was low as I had to heat up more water as I screwed around with the pump some to try and get my mash water in the mash tun. At the end of the brew day, I only put 5 gals of wort into the carboy. I didn't think anything about it, but the therminator and the pump lines did hold a lot of wort. Also when cooling down the wort I forgot to close the ball valve on the outlet of the pump some so the wort going into my carboy was still hot. I had to let this cool down for a day before I added the yeast to it.

Right now the yeast is working away on the wort and it looks like this will turn out to be a good beer. When it is time to keg I will add some maple syrup to the keg. I'm not sure how much yet as I’m not sure how strong I want the maple syrup to be yet so I will need to play around with that.

Here is the Brew Day Video if you want to check that out. If you're looking for a comfortable shirt and would like to support 31st Brewing check out our store. Until next time Happy Brewing